By Jim Young
16 wins: that’s how many victories it takes for a team in the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs to hoist the “Cup”, the oldest trophy in North American sports.
I remember playing hockey all-year-round growing up in Canada, from the rinks and ponds in winter to the side roads in summer. I have photographed hundreds of NHL games but there is nothing better than the race for the Cup. With the Chicago Blackhawks setting a record by starting the shortened NHL season by going 24 games without a regulation time loss, there was some great anticipation on their post-season hopes.
They got through the first round against the Minnesota Wild in a relatively easy five games. In round two, they needed a huge comeback against Detroit after being down 3-1 to finally win in seven games, and the Kings were done in five. During the regular season and in the first round of the playoffs, I would self-edit the images for our wire but once we got to the Conference semi-final, we switch to using our remote editing software so our editors and processors across North America can push out pictures to our clients after every big play throughout the period.
Game 1 of the final against the Boston Bruins started off in a major fashion with the Blackhawks taking a 4-3 win in triple overtime. My eyes were dried out and I was exhausted after shooting one of the longest Stanley Cup Final games in history.
After almost two months of playoff hockey games, the team capped it all off with a very exciting Game 6 finish in Boston. The only thing left was the victory parade through the streets of Chicago with an estimated two million fans watching the route and the rally in Grant Park.